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“Not terrible but overrated”

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Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort and Spa
Ranked #9 of 32 Hotels in San Luis Obispo
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 11, 2009

I booked a basic one bedroom suite with mineral hot spa in the balcony.

The location is a bit odd. Its in the woods but off of a major street, not the easiest to find but if you pay attention to the sign its not difficult. If you drive out a few minutes there's a mini downtown area by the Avila Beach, few great dining options.

The hotel, I think is overrated for the price. The property is nice, spread out which is very spa resort like. Our room was nice, the bed was a bit too high (I'm 5'6, female) but comfortable, spacious room, great spacious bathroom, and a balcony where the hot tub is.

The hot tub we had was the kind of tub you buy for your home. Clean and functional but nothing "special" really. The mineral hot spring was very hot, which is good for hot spring so that was very good. One thing I was uncomfortable with was that even though the balcony had shades from the trees, it was VERY visible to the other suites. If I would've know, I wouldn't have booked a $300 room but did one day admission to their private outdoor tubs.

Our room included dining vouchers for their one restaurant onsite. Very laid back, food was ok. But I wish there was more options in terms of dining since hotel/resort/spa experience is heavily influenced by food. Especially in a spa in a mountain-like setting like this one, you want to have some breakfast options or organic deli.

Overall not a bad hotel, just not worth $300 in my opinion. I could've gone to Glen Ivy hot springs for $55 and gotten their over-priced massage for much less than the hotel.

For the price and the spa nature, I would've expected a lot more fine details with exquisite character.

  • Stayed: November 2007, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank cheaptravelbug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,391 - 2,397 of 2,510 reviews

Reviewed September 9, 2009

We love this place. We went here for my fiance's B-Day on Labor Day weekend. This place has so many nature activities that you can do and it is less than 10 mins drive to downtown Pismo Beach. We checked in on Saturday afternoon and went for a walk on one of the trails. When we got back, we soaked ourselves in the mineral tub in our room. It's so wonderful because it's so private and convenience. Then we went to town for dinner. If you like seafood, you should go to Cracked Crab. The next day, we went for a hike early in the morning to the top of the hill. It was a wonderful hike and the view was fantastic. We also did the massage and it was great. We had dinner at the Gardens of Avila and it was a great experience. They made us feel so special. I made a special reservation for B-Day. They took us upstairs to this private room on the balcony. The set up was so romantic. They had flowers on the table. The manager came up to introduce herself and offer us free champagne and appertizer. I highly recommend this place.

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank trishaSantaMonica
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 2, 2009

I booked a massage. Your treatment allows a soak in the mineral springs (dirty) Upon arriving, the girl at the front asked us if we could 'just wait' for a locker because they were running low. We had no place to put our purses/clothes,etc. We ended up sharing a locker. The bathroom/changing area was filthy with trash spilling out of the garbage and old drink glasses left on the floor (that were still there at the end of the day). The robes/towels were thin and worn and the flip flops were the kind from a cheap drug store. There were no shaver/combs, etc., things you would find at a normal spa with this price ticket ($110)The bathroom had 2 pedestal sinks and no place to put stuff down. I wrote the spa manager, followed up with a call and then called the resort manager, none of my communication was returned. This is not an experience that makes you feel pampered or relaxed at all. I ended up leaving and taking a shower at home.

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled with friends
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Thank puddlejumper47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 28, 2009

My wife and I have stayed here three times, but I only recommend it if you can get a deal and you really talk with the receptionist about which rooms to pick. Ask if your room has been recently renovated. Website can be a bit confusing. Our favorites are in the Noble building - although the beds are only Queen, they are 2-room suites with very private hot tub on the balcony. The restaurant is very good for the area. Definitely try the hot tubs on the hillside - we go in the morning after a walk to the beach (about 2 miles each way).

If Sycamore Springs is too pricey, stay in Avila Beach or Pismo and just rent a hot tub for an hour. Also a good stop if you're driving on the 101 and need a break for an hour or two.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank kh100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 27, 2009

My friend recommended this place, but was a bit concerned after reading all the bad reviews. However, we were pleasantly surprised how much we enjoyed this place. Maybe it was because we stayed in the West Meadow Suites that we didn't have any complaints regarding the room. We love having our own private hot tub and it was really quiet. We also tried using the mineral baths up on the hill, which was nice and didn't smell as much as people claimed, but we liked our own fresh water private tub. But I guess you should experience it at least once for an hour (was surprised that resort guests have to pay for it at the same price as non guests (make sure to reserve a mineral tub before hand).

We also enjoyed the free yoga and breakfast (we had $30 credit). The location was great since we were able to stop by the local farm market/petting zoo and also have dinner in Avila Beach, after having lunch at Cracked Crab in nearby Pismo Beach.

I guess it can be considered pricey, but we thought it was better than Bacara that we stayed at prior to arriving at Sycamore, for less money.

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank shimmykim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 24, 2009

Rooms vary in size, age, etc. Also - some have mineral water and some have fresh (tap) water. The public tubs by the hour have mineral water but they add chlorine (required by law). So the only way to get unadulterated mineral water is to book a room with the mineral water. That being said, we loved our King Suite in the meadow area (across the street). Less road noise. These have regular water, but we didn't care. The restaurant is quite good. Staff helpful. They rent bikes and the beach and small beach town are an easy (2 mi?) bikeride away.

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank steviebbbb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 26, 2009

My boyfriend and I decided to take a last minute weekend getaway and I had cut out an ad for Sycamore Springs that they had run in one of our local papers. The ad and the website both made the location look very modern, spa-like, and up-to-date. When I called we were told there was a suite with a private mineral spa for 299 + tax, that was fine so we packed our things and headed up. When we drove up to the front it wasn't what I was expecting at all; the buildings looked a little out of date and when I walked into the check-in/restaurant area I seriously felt like I had stepped back into my childhood. (I grew up in the late 80's, early 90's) I was told on the phone that they had a "very nice" restaurant and when I walked into the waiting room all I saw were some tables lined up behind a bar area and a menu that seemed a bit expensive for the ambiance the restaurant provided. Anyway... so we check in and we're told that we are going to stay in the "Mystical" room in the "Mythical" building. When we first walked in I thought we had a really nice room and then we started looking around, it was alright I guess, but not worth the price. There was nothing mystical about it whatsoever and once again... blast from the past. First off the room was decorated with Colonial reproduction furniture that I remember being so popular when I was a kid, the sofa was old and dirty, the furniture chipped, the bed was seriously high and squeeky. And when my boyfriend tried to open the glass doors on the fireplace one of them fell off and he had to re-attach it.. Basically the whole place just needs a major, major rennovation. Our spa wasn't all that "private" either, the guests staying in the rooms on the hill behind us could easily look down in our patio and the only thing we had for privacy was a patio umbrella. The spa itself wasn't anything like the picture, it was another relic from the 80's and me being petite (5'4) it was hard for me to get in and out of it since there was only one small wooden step leading in, I did enjoy the effects of the water and my skin does feel fantastic however it was really hard to relax, the jets are super noisy and our tub would not stop draining, the pipes that filled the tub up were just basic white PVC pipes, not very pleasing to the eye. Another thing that was disapointing was the lack of soap/shampoo/lotion. I usualy get more at nice hotels, especially locations with spas and we just had a few little bottles and a small thing of soap. The hotel isn't really near anything so if you want to eat somewhere else you have to drive. Honestly I've had nicer hotel rooms that have cost $99.00, I'd recommend you find another hotel and if you want to go into the hot springs, book one of the private outdoor tubs; that way you can save a bunch of money and still enjoy the mineral water.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank CupcakeHoneybee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort and Spa

Address: 1215 Avila Beach Dr, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405-8048
Location: United States > California > San Luis Obispo County > San Luis Obispo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 Romantic Hotel in San Luis Obispo
#11 Family Hotel in San Luis Obispo
Price Range: $212 - $445 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort and Spa 3*
Number of rooms: 71
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort rests atop hot mineral springs and spans more than 100 acres of forest, hills and meadows on the picturesque Central Coast of California. An authentic California resort, the property features hillside mineral springs hot tubs, a beautiful spa, the Gardens of Avila Restaurant, a labyrinth, private balcony hot tubs, meditation gardens, and wide selection of mind-body classes in our Yoga Dome. Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort -located halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles is just a short walk to the ocean and close to award-winning wineries, golf courses, Hearst Castle, Pismo Beach, and San Luis Obispo. Escape to our historic resort voted best Spa and Weekend Getaway on the Central Coast. Experience rustic elegance in a serene and relaxing environment surrounded with the best California has to offer. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sycamore Mineral Springs Hotel San Luis Obispo
Sycamore Springs
Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort
Mineral Resort Springs Sycamore

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